USA — Senate Confirms Alexander to Lead Cyber Command

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2010 — Defense offi­cials are laud­ing the Senate’s con­fir­ma­tion of Army Lt. Gen. Kei­th B. Alexan­der, direc­tor of the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency, to also lead the new U.S. Cyber Com­mand.

The Sen­ate con­firmed Alexan­der on May 7, approv­ing his pro­mo­tion to four-star rank to lead both orga­ni­za­tions at Fort Meade, Md.

“We are pleased that the Sen­ate has moved for­ward with his con­fir­ma­tion,” Pen­ta­gon spokesman Bryan Whit­man said. “Gen­er­al Alexan­der brings to the job the lead­er­ship to stand up this com­mand, and the skills and exper­tise that will be crit­i­cal to the new com­mand in deal­ing with secu­ri­ty chal­lenges in the cyber domain.”

Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates cre­at­ed the new com­mand in June in light of grow­ing threats against the Defense Department’s com­put­er net­works, the cor­re­spond­ing threat to nation­al secu­ri­ty and the need for uni­ty of com­mand to address the prob­lem.

Cyber Com­mand, which is sub­or­di­nate to U.S. Strate­gic Com­mand, must strike a bal­ance between pro­tect­ing mil­i­tary assets and per­son­al pri­va­cy, Kei­th told the Sen­ate dur­ing his mid-April con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing. His main focus at Cyber Com­mand, he told the pan­el, will be to build capac­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty to secure the net­works and edu­cat­ing the pub­lic on the command’s intent.

“This com­mand is not about an effort to mil­i­ta­rize cyber­space,” he said. “Rather, it’s about safe­guard­ing our mil­i­tary assets.”

The Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty has over­sight respon­si­bil­i­ty for the “dot-gov” Inter­net domain, Alexan­der said. Cyber Com­mand is respon­si­ble for “dot-mil” secu­ri­ty, he said, and for giv­ing ear­ly warn­ing of cyber threats to the Unit­ed States and pro­vid­ing peo­ple and capa­bil­i­ties to sup­port any home­land threat.

Alexan­der has served as direc­tor of the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and chief of Cen­tral Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice since 2005.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)